Educated at Cambridge and Bristol Universities, Hartley qualified as a Barrister and was in practice between 1970 and 1984.
The first Barrister to be appointed as Special Advisor to the Prime Minister working in 10 Downing Street between 1984 and 1988, he gave policy advice on law and order and the environment, ending up as the senior advisor in the Prime Minister’s Policy Unit.
In 1988 he was appointed as first Chief Executive of British Urban Development Ltd., a company launched by the Prime Minister with the backing of the eleven largest companies in Britain’s civil engineering and construction industry with combined capitalisation of £16 billion with the aim of rebuilding Britain’s declining inner cities. He was also appointed as the first Chairman of the British Urban Regeneration Association.
In 1991 Hartley was selected to follow Margaret Thatcher in her Parliamentary Seat, Finchley. Elected to Parliament the following year, he was among the first handful to join the Ministerial team of the Government. Chairman of a range of Parliamentary Committees, he held two Ministerial positions in the Foreign Office and the Department of Education and Employment through the following five years, when the constituency was removed by the “Boundary Commission”.
In 1998 the Labour Government appointed him to be Chairman of the Uzbek-British Trade & Industry Council – a position he held until July 2012.
Until recently, Hartley was an adviser to one of the largest global law firms in the world, Dentons. He is currently a Consultant to Gregg Latchams Solicitors of Bristol and London.
Founder & Former Chairman of three National Charitable Bodies: the British Urban Regeneration Association the British Uzbek Society & Resources Autism. He is also a Trustee of a Sainsbury Charitable Trust. Awarded an OBE in 2010, he was also awarded the Order of Knighthood (Dostlik) in Uzbekistan in 2011.
Hartley has written and edited a number of books, including a standard text book on extradition. He was a former periodic feature writer for the Daily Telegraph and also wrote a book of illustrated nonsense poetry.
Married for 40 years with three children, his hobbies include restoring ancient buildings and planting trees.